Fingal Libraries has secured a major funding boost of €711,000 to upgrade and improve ICT and digital services throughout its network, which is a key strategic aim of its ambitious Development Plan to be rolled over the next five years.
Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has approved an almost €8 million investment for libraries nationwide, with approximately €6 million funded by the Department and a further €2 million contribution from Local Authorities.
Fingal Libraries has secured a major funding boost of €711,000 to upgrade and improve ICT and digital services throughout its network.
Fingal Libraries will receive €476,000 from the Department, which was the second highest grant awarded to a local authority by the Department. The remaining €235,000 will come from Fingal County Council itself.
Announcing the investment package, Minister Ring said: “This investment will enhance ICT infrastructure, create new meeting spaces with state-of-the-art technology and provide dedicated digital learning suites. The new facilities and services will attract new users of all ages to our public libraries. I have to commend the local authorities for recognising the invaluable service the libraries provide and for committing €2 million to this investment package.”
The funding includes the provision of:
iPads/tablets/smart devices for users and for staff to assist users
Computers and workstations
Meeting space technology
Podcasting equipment and workstations
Mobile LCD screens with audio
Digital training suites
Maker space equipment
Welcoming the funding, Fingal County Council Chief Executive Paul Reid said: “This is
a significant investment by Minister Ring’s Department which will result in enhanced library spaces and services for the public. The Council’s contribution to the funding demonstrates our commitment to and belief in public libraries as centres of learning and engagement in the community.”
County Librarian Betty Boardman, said: “This funding has come at a very good time for Fingal Libraries as it will assist us in achieving two of the main objectives in our Development Plan published earlier this year – to continue to provide high quality, welcoming, accessible spaces which meet the needs of library users and to reinforce the position of libraries in the community as key points of access to information technology and digital services.”
The Development Plan highlights the future of Fingal Libraries as a dynamic and inclusive space that supports and values culture, recreation, literacy, education and economic development. Over a million visits were made to public libraries in Fingal during 2017.
The Plan identifies seven key objectives: Workforce, Capital and Infrastructure, Collections and Resources, Programming of events and Activities, Technology, Marketing and Communications and Collaboration and Partnerships.